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Spain sacks Julen Lopetegui two days before their World Cup opener

June 13, 2018 By Ali M.
The RFEF president explained the decision to relieve their manager of his duties on the eve of the World Cup.

It is nothing but turmoil in the Spain camp, as the national side confirmed the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. La Roja is considered as one of the favorites to lift the title, but they now find themselves without a head coach a day before the tournament kicks off.

This comes amid a rapid and unexpected turn off events which saw the 51-year-old accept the Real Madrid managerial job. He was confirmed as Zidane's replacement on Tuesday only for rumors of his inevitable layoff to spread like wildfire immediately after.

Lopetegui's decision to sign for Los Blancos and go public with the news days before Spain kicked off their campaign against Portugal did not sit well with the country's football federation (RFEF). RFEF president Luis Rubiales then confirmed the departure of their head coach in a press conference a day after his Real Madrid unveiling.

"We have been forced to dispense with the national coach. We wish you the greatest of luck," Rubiales said, as per BBC Sport.

"The negotiation has occurred without any information to the RFEF. Just five minutes before the press release. There's a way to act that needs to be fulfilled.

"It's the Spanish team. You cannot do things this way. I admire Julen a lot, I respect him a lot, I think he's a top trainer and that makes it more difficult to make the decision.

"I don't feel betrayed. Lopetegui, while he's been with us, has done impeccable work. I know it's a very difficult situation. I know there's going to be criticism whatever I do.

"I'm sure this will, in time, make us stronger."

This decision comes against the will of the squad. According to several outlets, senior members from the national side argued with Rubiales against firing the manager. Despite his ugly departure, Lopetegui had excelled with the national side, winning 14 games and losing none from 20 matches.

The European giant will now begin their campaign in Russia in the least ideal manner. First they will lock horns with Portugal on the 16th before taking on Group B rivals Iran and Morocco.

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